Thousands without power as storm lashes Cuba

September 28, 2022 10:00 am

[Source: BBC]

Thousands of people have been left without power and one person has reportedly been killed after Hurricane Ian lashed Cuba.

Cuba-focused media outlets have also reported damaged buildings across the country.

The category three hurricane, packing wind speeds of up to 195km/h (120mph), is now heading for Florida and is expected to strengthen.

Article continues after advertisement

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke of the threat of a “major disaster”.

As of 21:00 GMT on Tuesday, the hurricane was growing stronger in the south-eastern Gulf of Mexico and was moving north at 10mph, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports.

The storm is expected to pass over the Florida Keys later on Tuesday night before approaching Florida’s west coast on Wednesday.

Forecasters had said Cuba could see up to 30cm (12in) of rain from Hurricane Ian. Some 38,000 people were evacuated in the province of Pinar del Rio, according to AFP news agency. Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel visited the area and vowed that the province would rise “above adversity”, the Cuban presidency tweeted.

CiberCuba, an independent Cuba-focused news outlet based in Spain, reported that a 43-year-old woman in the province was killed after the walls of her home collapsed. The death has now been confirmed by local officials.

Cuban authorities declared emergencies in six areas, with forecasters warning of storm surges on the coast, along with flash floods and mudslides. CiberCuba reported structural damage in several parts of the country, with images showing collapsed houses and heavily flooded roads.